November 27, 2009

Deborah Shannon


for Otto Plath

You do not know, you do not know
how you have burdened me
a weight
like a coffin
sealing my life.

Who would have known
a moment of moaning,
your mother’s fingernails raking
across my back
could bring such regret?

You were always different,
never sugar and spice
but a bitter glimpse of bad genes
in a line of self-destructing root
sown through generations.

I have always been scared of you
with your unfamiliar power
in small bones
like thorns
in a crown.

My daughter, what would my life have been
without the smother of you,
without my Aryan blood
running blue
through you?

Many times I thought of killing you,
how easy that would have been.
Your pretty silk pillow
collecting muffled screams
while I whispered a lullaby.

You drank my life
for a year
for ten lost years, if you want to know,
like a vampire-girl
laughing with bloody teeth.

Life, a shadow and a dream.
Death, a sweet release
from the burden of you
from the guilt
of spawning you.

—Inspired by Sylvia Plath's Daddy


Deborah Shannon lives in Manhattan and is completing her graduate degree in creative writing from Florida International University. Her work has appeared in numerous online venues, and she has also written several plays and a novel.

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